The last week in June, most of the sports world has been centered around the New England area for the major news stories. Out of the three major things, only one dealt with actual results on the playing surface. The biggest one and the most shocking and sad is the story about Aaron Hernandez and him being arrested for Murder while being an active member of the New England Patriots. The second one and also off the playing field is the total dismantling of the Boston Celtics for the next couple of years. The final one is the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup final. Dovetailing onto that story is the fallout coming for the Bruins roster.
Let's tackle the Hernandez story first. Since I am not in New England, I am not bombarded with details each and every minute if I am listening to sports talk radio or the local sports TV network. The details from the press is that Hernandez and two associates from Florida were out with Odin Lloyd the night that Lloyd was killed. Lloyd was shot and killed, Hernandez and the two others went back to Hernandez's house. And then bizarre events like the destruction of the security system of the house and Hernandez's phone being destroyed became common knowledge. The fact that the police were at the house each and every day caused a national curiosity. The arrest for murder came as a shock for everybody.
Now everybody is analyzing the tattoos that Hernandez has looking for gang affiliation. The current theory is that Hernandez is a member of the Bloods gang network. When he was a young teen he was flashing gang signs wearing red clothing in a picture. He also has the word Blood tattooed on him. So we have people suspecting that Hernandez was a member that was carrying out an order to kill Lloyd for something that Lloyd had known about. I don't know if that is true. The media doesn't know if that is true. The only people that know if it is true or not is probably Hernandez and his two associates. The Patriots are not culpable for their former player's actions. However, it might give more people pause to take a risk on somebody like Hernandez in the future.
On to a more normal story of off the field conduct. The Boston Celtics dismantled their team this past week. Doc Rivers was traded to the LA Clippers for a 1st Round Draft Choice in 2015. When that happened, you understood that the Celtics as an organization had decided to start the major rebuilding project. On draft night, all the proceedings of the draft were overshadowed by the trade that the Nets and Celtics agreed to. The Celtics sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for a bunch of serviceable players, stiffs, and 3 first round draft choices. So over the next 5 years, the Celtics have 9 1st round draft choices. The only lottery choices will probably be their own unless that Nets return to being horrible after the Celtic 3 leave, but I don't see that happening because that will mean that other things have gone wrong for the Nets.
The changes for the Celtics might not be done. There are reports that Rajon Rondo is close to being on his way to Dallas. That would leave the Celtics with starting over from scratch. Danny Ainge has said that he is not looking to trade Rondo. The question is still out there whether or not the Rondo is a big detriment to team chemistry and is a coach killer. I am going to be wishy-washy and say that he probably is, but the veterans on the Celtics had held him down and that he could not develop into a team leader. However what is known is that the Boston Celtics, one of the NBA's premier franchises, are rebuilding from the ground up and that for the next couple of years, don't expect them to be challenging for the playoffs.
Finally, let's talk about the Bruins. First, a disclaimer. Disclaimer: I would be happy if the Bruins were the first NHL team in modern times to go winless in a season. The disdain that this Whalers fan has towards the Bruins is real and large. OK, back to the Bruins. They lost what was one of the best Stanley Cup series that I have seen. And the series only went 6 games. The Bruins proved that they had the best Forwards from top to bottom in the league this year. Tuukka Rask proved that he is a very good goalie and that the Defensive corps will be in good hands for years to come with the wealth of defensemen coming up through the ranks. Their undoing in the Finals is that they couldn't contain the speed from the Blackhawks after the Hawks figured out to start dumping and chasing, thwarting the defense that the best coach in the league, Claude Julian, had devised to prevent the carrying of the puck into the zone.
However, changes are coming for the Bruins. Nathan Horton is an unrestricted free agent. He was told that the Bruins didn't have the cap space to bring him back. Multiple report have Tyler Seguin being shopped around to provide cap relief. Rask is asking for 6 Million per according to reports. Zdeno Chara started to show signs of fatigue last in the Finals. Andrew Ference and Jaromir Jagr will not be back. Rask is still trying to show that he can win the big game. Don't give me that Game 7 win over the Maple Leafs as proof that he has. Giving up the game tying and game winning goals in the elimination game of the Finals tells me that he is not a Big Game goalie yet. You could have some chemistry problems develop if the players aren't careful. I believe that the Bruins will still be a contender to win the Stanley Cup, it is starting to look more like they will have to have lightning in a bottle, just like in 2011.
Sometime in the future, there will be another confluence of events that causes the sports fans of a city to pay close attention to every sport that they have an interest in. Last week it was Boston. And for that, those fans there will have something to talk about for years to come.